Burn Notice Scorches for USA

Season three of USA Network’s original series Burn Notice got off to a blazing start Thursday night, averaging 6 million viewers, on par with March’s sophomore finale.

The season premiere delivered 2.8 million adults 25-54 and 2.5 million viewers 18-49 in its 9 p.m. time slot, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data. By comparison, the March 5 season-two finale drew 6.1 million viewers, of which 3.07 million were members of the 25-54 demo and 2.74 million were adults 18-49.

In addition to the return of the top-rate show on cable among viewers 18-49, USA also launched a new series last night. Leading out of Burn Notice, Royal Pains retained 93 percent of the previous hour’s audience, averaging 5.6 million viewers. The show also held on to the lion’s share of the demos, serving up 2.5 million 25-54s (or 89 percent of the lead-in) and 2.3 million 18-49s (92 percent).   

Royal Pains stars Mark Feuerstein as a blacklisted trauma surgeon who stumbles into a new career as a concierge physician in the Hamptons. The show is the first original project produced for USA by corporate sibling Universal Cable Productions, which was formed in March 2008.